Chernivtsi University – a masterpiece of Habsburg architecture

No metaphors are enough to describe the Chernivtsi University that is located in the buildings of the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans. It is truly grand! In 2011, this unique building was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The elegant terracotta building with slender towers and stone carvings was being built for almost 20 years (1864-1882) and embodied in itself an eclectic mix of different architectural styles – from Byzantine elements to formidable Romanesque rigidity, from Gothic lines to Moorish lace. Festive ornamental patterns of coloured glazed roof tiles reflect the trends of national art.  Interior decoration of the complex also possesses such a combination of Bukovina motifs with the splendour of Chinese silk, Venetian mirrors and colourful marble.

Chernivtsi University

You can visit Chernivtsi University on our tours:

Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University is not only an alma mater but also an extremely popular tourist destination. Such beauty is impossible to hide from the inquisitive eyes of travellers who tirelessly groove the ancient streets of the former informal capital of Europe. After travelling with Visit Ukraine to the magnificent Metropolitan Residence in Chernivtsi, you will be convinced that in Ukraine there is plenty of architectural monuments that are just as good as mainstream Western European destinations.

How Chernivtsi University was built

  1. The initiative to build the Residence belonged to Bishop Yevhen Gakman, who made a lot of efforts to support the Orthodox faith in the region and create the Metropolis of Bukovina. Thanks to him, Emperor Franz Joseph I decided to begin the construction of it in 1863. It was Gakman who had the honour of laying the cornerstone in the foundation of the chapel of St. John the New Suceava – the first building of the future ensemble;
  2. The construction was mainly funded by the Bukovina Orthodox Fund. The Austrian government and other religious organizations also made their donations. As a sign of gratefulness for the contribution of the Jewish religious denomination, one of the building was decorated with a crown formed by the Stars of David.
  3. The project was realized by a famous Czech architect Josef Hlavka, who literally sacrificed his health for the construction of the Chernivtsi complex. Under his leadership, began the exploration of local resources, ceramics and brick factories were launched, and local craftsmen were trained in stonemasonry.
    Each brick was dropped from a height of twenty meters to ensure its quality. To strengthen the masonry, chicken eggs and specific products of decomposition of live stock were added to the cement;
  4. Famous Austrian, Czech and Bukovinian artists participated in the decoration of the buildings; 
  5. The residence was designed together with a unique arboretum with various botanical wonders and decorative elements.

You may be interested in the Kamyanets-Podilskyi, Chernivtsi + Bakota tour (3 d / 2n)

Unique garden of Chernivtsi University
Unique garden of Chernivtsi University

Chernivtsi University – inside view

Passing the grand entrance gate and admiring the courtyard’s bosquets, we head to the central building – the former Metropolitan’s Palace, which in its lifetime has welcomed many distinguished guests. The building is famous for its luxurious halls – Synodal (or Marble because it used to be decorated with luxurious marble of different shades), Red, where the red Chinese silk walls are harmoniously combined with the sophisticated ceiling and precious woodblocks, Blue Cabinet (former Metropolitan Library), Green (today the office of the Chancellor of the University).

Chernivtsi University Interior
Chernivtsi University Interior

Про призначення Семінарського корпусу, що височіє ліворуч від брами, свідчить його назва – тут розташовувалися Духовна семінарія та теологічний факультет. Сьогодні їх наслідує філософсько-теологічний факультет університету. Прикрасою підковоподібної споруди служить діюча Церква Трьох Святителів, розписана відомим австрійським митцем К.Йобстом.

The Seminary building stands to the left of the gate, seminary and theological faculties used to be located here. Today the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology is their successor.  Church of the Three Saints, painted by the famous Austrian artist K.Jobst, is a beautiful decoration of this horseshoe-shaped building.


Guest (Monastery) building complements the sophisticated ensemble with its graceful tower in the centre, where a cross solemnly rises above the clock as a symbol of the irreversibility of time. In the past monastery cells the school of deacons, the Metropolitan printing house, a small candlestick factory were located in this building. Currently, future geographers are studying in these interesting historical premises.

Chernivtsi University Interesting Facts

  • In the 1950s, the Electronic Computing Center was housed in the Church of the Three Saints of the Seminary Building;
  • Only a person with higher education could work as a gardener in a luxury university park; 
  • Coral stone, a natural Bukovina miracle, was used in the decoration of the building. In the Synodal Hall, fragments of it remain preserved despite the devastating fire of 1944; 
  • The central part of the front gate is adorned with the emblems of Chernivtsi and the region; 
  • One of the most famous students of the university was Ivan Franko;
  • The first four female students began studying at the university in 1899.
Church interior
Church interior

Also you can get to know many interesting things in our tours:

Additional information

Location: Chernivtsi National University, 2 Kotsyubynsky Street, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi region, 58012

GPS: 48.297141, 25.922851 

Contacts: (0372) -584-811 

Working hours: Monday to Sunday from 10.00 to 17.00

Excursion to Chernivtsi University

The excursion registration is made in advance either through booking or after arrival at the university. You can visit the University only with a guide. However, the church and the park are open to be viewed independently.

Chernivtsi University
Chernivtsi University

Do you want to know about an unusual duel of a professor and a university librarian? Why is it forbidden to walk on the central gravel lane? In which hall of the Metropolitan’s Palace can women rejuvenate? What is the purpose of an artificial stone grotto in the park and where an ancient beech tree that charges visitors with positive energy is located? Is there an underground passage under the building and where did the gallows in the courtyard of the university stand?

All this and more interesting things await for you on excursions to the magnificent Chernivtsi Residence of Metropolitan Bukovina within our tours:

Let’s discover Ukraine together!

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